Society and Culture reclaims the classical heritage, provides a clear-eyed assessment of the promise of sociology in the 21st century and asks whether the `cultural turn' has made the study of society redundant. Sociologists have objected to the rise of cultural studies on the grounds that it produces cultural relativism and lacks a stable research agenda. This book looks at these criticisms and illustrates the relevance of a sociological perspective in the analysis of human practice. The book argues that the classical tradition must be treated as a living tradition, rather than a period piece. It analyzes the fundamental principles of belonging and conflict in society and provides a detailed critical survey of the p



The tension between determinism and voluntarism is integral to sociological analysis. The Marxist doctrine of historical materialism proposed that men make their own history, but not under conditions of their own choosing. More generally, establishing causal adequacy, in the Weberian sense of the term, is an established feature of mainstream sociological analysis. The most extreme form of determinism posits that human mental states and acts are necessitated by preceding causes. Choice and will are therefore dismissed as chimeras, since aetiology is pre-subjective. Although elements of determinism figure in the structuralist analysis of Marx, Durkheim, Lévi-Strauss and Althusser, sociologists have generally been reluctant to embrace it as a doctrine. The origins of the subject in the Enlightenment made questions of freedom and liberty central to ...

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